Mobile money wallets are growing in popularity in Tanzania as the preferred means of payment for business and other financial transactions, compared to other electronic options or even cash, according to two newly released study results.
Standard Bank (Stanbic) said that Tanzania differs from other countries in Africa where cash payments have taken the lead and mobile money has not caught on as quickly.
However, regarding the financial behaviour of traders (in Tanzania), payment methods for sales have seen a shift from electronic bank transfers to mobile money.
This suggests that mobile money has become more popular and EFTs for payments from sales are falling out of favour, said Stanbic in its Tanzania Trade Barometer report, which became available in the last week of June.
According to the 2023 FinScope Tanzania study, a rise in adult Tanzanians’ use of mobile money services from 60% to 72% since 2017 has ‘significantly’ enhanced the degree of financial inclusion in the nation.
The 2023 edition of the FinScope report, which was released in Dar es Salaam on July 10th, analyses trends in financial inclusion in Tanzania. Reports from the past have been released in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017.
FinScope estimates that, compared to 65% in 2017, up to 76% of the population is now formally included in the financial system, and that 75% of people now own a mobile phone.
Access to commercial banking services has also increased from 17% to 22% since 2017, with the report attributing this largely to such services being more easily accessible via mobile phones.
However, it also found that access to a mobile phone among Tanzanians has declined from 93% to 86% and remains predominantly male-centric (80% for men and 71% for women), while at least 19% of the population remained financially excluded, compared to 28% in 2017.
According to Stanbic Bank, mobile money took the lead in financial services used by Tanzanian merchants at 67%, just ahead of transaction accounts, which improved from 59% to 66%, while online banking lagged behind at 50%.